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FTO unearths unique kind of scam

FTO unearths unique kind of scam

ISLAMABAD: Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Dr Asif Mahmood Jah has unearthed a unique kind of scam involving Corporate Tax Office, Lahore’s (CTO) tax officials, who sought encashment of bank guarantees of a taxpayer through issuance of illegal jurisdiction notices to other Government Institutions.

In a latest investigation by the FTO Dr Asif Jah, it has been observed that the Commissioner Inland Revenue Enforcement I, CTO Lahore issued without lawful jurisdiction letter CIR/Enf-1/3494 to the Pakistan Railways HQs Lahore for encashment of bank guarantee and ordered the FBR for immediately withdrawal of letter CIR/Enf-1/3494 dated 27.04.2021 to the Pakistan Railways in the case of complainant Syed Jamil & Company Lahore.

Earlier the FTO has ordered an inquiry against CIR of the CTO Lahore (CTOL), and others, including an Additional CIR and Assistant CIR, for allegedly abusing their powers to achieve the tax targets.

Documents revealed that Nauman Shabbir Manj, Company Secretary on behalf of CEO of complainant Syed Jamil Abbas Naqvi appeared before the FTO and argued the case of maladministration on the part of the tax officials and her allies in all patently illegal activities duly highlighted by the FTO in Complaints No. 1050-1051-1052/2021 & 1042/2021.

FTO order stated “It is on record that Fizza Batool CIR was deputed by the High Court to adjudicate the matter regarding applicability of 236-A of the Ordinance. It appears that in continuation of the above assignment, the above named lady officer issued letter CIR/Enf-1/3494 dated 27.04.2021 without looking into the point of jurisdiction. The complainer official had acted beyond her jurisdiction, while issuing the letter impugned to the PR (Pakistan Railway).

While the FTO in his findings has determined that letter No. CIR/Enf-I/3494 dated 27th April 2021 adversely impacting the complainant had been issued by the complainee officer without jurisdiction still no remedy was accorded to the complainant. On the given date CIR E&C CTO Lahore appeared. While conducting this special hearing complainant was neither summoned nor heard. CIR herself admitted that the letter CIR/Enf-1/3494 dated 27th April 2021 was issued by her to the PR (Pakistan Railways) HQs Lahore for encashment of bank guarantee.

Acting beyond jurisdiction itself constitutes maladministration but no cognizance has been taken by worthy FTO. In the light of above facts the impugned findings are revisited hereunder with the following recommendations; FBR to immediately withdraw the CIR/Enf-1/3494 dated 27th April 2021 issued without jurisdiction, by CIR Enf-1, CTO Lahore to the PR (Pakistan Railways) HQs Lahore for encashment of bank guarantees, FTO order added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

Source: Business Recorder

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